Radikal Chopper may have successfully radicalized BMW.
The custom bike builder, helmed by Andrea Radaelli, unveiled a custom R 18 at the Top Marques show in Monaco on Thursday. And, well, let’s just say, the German maxi cruiser is pretty much unrecognizable.
The bonkers beemer, which goes by the name of Magnifica, was commissioned by Raffaello Polchi of Officine Riunite Milanesi. It was inspired by the vintage two-wheelers of the ‘20s, ‘30’s and ‘40s—the BMW R 37, specifically—which Radaelli says have “an incredible charm that even today many modern motorbikes cannot replicate.”
The retro special edition was handcrafted with “maniacal care” using materials such as brass, aluminum and wood, according to the marque. (Wood, in particular, is a nod to the motorbikes of the past, and was used for details like the grips.) Very few elements from the stock model remain, save for the chassis, swing-arm and 1.8-liter Boxer twin. This is more like an entirely new motorcycle.
To fit with the bike’s old-school aesthetic, the build was kept very simple and traditional. The team imagined Magnifica via sketches, rather than using CAD or renders. Nothing on the bike was bought; everything was built by hand. (The exception being the rims, which were machined from billet.)
The fork is reminiscent of one found on a vintage ride but completely new inside with custom billet pieces. Elsewhere, there’s a sleek twin-cell tank, a polished stainless steel center section, a rubber seat and a mahogany tailpiece. Even the brake discs and calipers were specially created. You can also expect a bespoke front engine cover and a custom braking setup.
BMW says beneath the retro aesthetic lies a technologically modern motorbike. The electrical system is fully functional and the tires are true to the original. Best of all, the changes have resulted in Magnifica being some 220 pounds lighter than the stock bike. It now weighs a svelte 550 pounds.
“The bike has to be my own creation,” Radaelli adds. “I don’t feel like dredging up or modifying a concept already set up and done very well by others.”
Very rad, indeed.
Check out more photos below: